Called as Advocates

AdvoccyLiving in the Spirit
August 25, 2014

 Scripture Reading: Exodus 3:1-15

 Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed. Then Moses said, ‘I must turn aside and look at this great sight, and see why the bush is not burned up.’ When the Lord saw that he had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, ‘Moses, Moses!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’ Then he said, ‘Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.’ He said further, ‘I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. — Exodus 3:1-6

I worked for the State of Oklahoma for 35 years. When I began, I signed a form acknowledging that I understood, as a state employee, I had to be very careful about any participation in politics. After retirement, I became a full time commissioned clergy person and worked at a local church where ethical considerations and our tax exempt status once again placed me in the position of being very careful about politics. I was, throughout my career and still am now, a very strong supporter of the separation of church and state whether those exact words are in our official government documents or not. I consider myself to be a member of the nation of God while I am also by birth a citizen of the United States of America.

Because of these almost 40 years of negative reinforcement, I find it very difficult to take a public stand for a given candidate, although I have worked for some in the background. I am becoming more publicly vocal about specific issues. I get all these emails and other social media pieces asking for my support on some issue or another, to which I may respond in support, but almost all of them say send this to all your friends and I just somehow cannot do that, yet. At some point my guess is, a justice issues about which I have very strong feelings will garner enough of a gut level response in me that I will forward it. Part of my hesitancy may be because I do not want to cause the same negative reaction I have when I receive such mail pushing political philosophies that are totally alien to me.

Moses got his gut check at a burning bush. He had been reared by Pharaoh’s daughter and his first rather knee jerk reaction of killing an Egyptian for his abuse of a Hebrew netted Moses a trip into the wilderness. That history had probably squelched much of his advocacy fervor. Yet the great I AM said “Moses, you are to be my advocate” and Moses was. Even with his fear and lack of self-confidence, Moses led the Israelites out of bondage.

There is a great sense of ennui in our land today. People are hiding their heads in the sand even as they suffer or watch others suffer with poverty, stagnate incomes, no health care, poor education systems, overcrowded prisons, a volatile world, and enormous debt while our elected representatives do nothing but point fingers and make personal attacks. They are our employees. It is our job as citizens to hold them accountable, but that requires us to become savvy voters and not be jerked around by issues that have little if any impact on the common good our governments are commissioned to provide.

Prayer: Great I AM, fully enable my participation in your kingdom as it progresses toward your governance and help me see the avenues of advocacy you are setting before me in meeting the common good of both my country and the world. Amen.

All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of American. Used by permission. All rights reserved.